I'm looking for the minimum amount of time I can age a fruit wine that still tastes great. Is there a point in the aging process where they hit deminishing returns, beyond which they don't improve much? Thanks
The general voice is drink country wines in a year.
In judging state fair last year the day had about 2/3 which had low level of acetaldehyde (oxidized alcohol/ a burn sensation in the throat). With good metabisulphite or topping with argon or no head space you can avoid this. I have seen commercial product that makes years ex cranberry (has background bitter flavors/ high acid).
Fruit flavor in beverages last longer than a year, , , usually. Some natural flavors have poor shelf life ex blueberry. You can slow changes with refrigeration.
In general a year, oxidation is the enemy.
Well I’ll post the opposing view. We have a few bottles of 2011 Apple & Peach Wines that are excellent! Also a 5 year old Blueberry ( made from concentrate) . We age most of our wines 2 yrs before drinking. Just sayin, Roy ps we measure SO2 and keep it in the mid range at bottling, Standard carboy procedures , nothing special
Can't agree that that there is a shelf life on blueberry, although I've only been making blueberry wine for 4 1/6 years now - none of my have aged out.
Each variety of fruit wine is different and depending on how you prepare it that might change matters as well. Some folks on here have had wines that they declared undrinkable at 2 years but suddenly after 3 years they turned the corner.
I've had a few that I felt were great at 6 months (Pineapple/Mango) and Plum (From a wine base) BUT normally I try to wait no less than 9 months before bottling. Virtually ALL my fruit wines get some degree of back-sweetening. Therefore if there is any problem with an aged out wine, it's more likely to come from say a sorbate that ages out, not the wine itself. BUT your experiences may differ. High Storage temps, Rapid and many changes in temps, exposure to light etc all sorts of things can affect a wines taste over time.
I do have a couple of bottles of Strawberry and apricot that are 3 1/2 years old and I can tolerate them but they have never been to my liking.
MANY factors are involved in how a wine stores and as I posted on another thread - In Wine Making , Hard fast rules are Hard to come by.
Thanks for the replies! I recently bottled some damson wine but not sure what would be the minimum acceptable amount of time to age them for before trying is. Is it really neccessary to wait 6 months to a year or would it be virtually the same at just 3 months?
Most likely there will be a sharpness and bite to the wine at that point. If you are racking every 3 months then you can snag a small sample at those rackings to check how it's doing.
The most difficult thing for me and most new folks making wine is the waiting game. The way to get around that is to keep making batches and get a second hobby to keep you occupied. You really will notice the difference.
Now if you just can't wait... You can back-sweeten as needed and bottle whenever you want. BUT do yourself a favor Only drink one bottle every month (batches more than one gallon) and by the time you get to 15 - 18 months you should be able to look back and tell the difference. Once you get that - waiting just becomes like saving money for that new "toy" whatever it might be.